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Imagine you have been working at a company for several years. Suddenly, one day, your manager changes. After a week of the new manager in position, he gives you your last check and says you are no longer needed. During that week of working for the new manager, he emailed you a variety of discriminatory terms. What should you do now?

Wrongful termination is when employer lets go, or fires an employee for illegal reasons. The employee had not done anything wrong within the scope of their work to warrant a termination. Reasons for being wrongfully terminated include belonging to a specific racial class, or being fired as a retaliation tactic from your employer. Retaliatory termination occurs when an employee speaks up about a certain issue, and, as a result, is then let go from the company.

The employee contract outlines specific details of employment such as pay expectations, promotions, or length of employment. When the terms of this contract are violated in the process of terminating an employee, that employee may be entitled to recover compensation for wrongful termination.

There are different types of wrongful termination, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Race
  • Gender or sex
  • Age
  • Maternity
  • Disability
  • Citizenship

Three Different Ways To File Wrongful Termination

There are three ways in which one can file a wrongful termination claim. Please note, each one of these three processes involve detailed documentation and advanced legal skill. To better determine which steps to take, and how to go about them, contact our experienced wrongful termination attorneys at Heidari Law Group.

Consult an Employment Attorney

One of the most common actions an employee could take is to seek legal help and consult an attorney. However, prior to consulting an attorney, there are specific steps a client should take.

  1. Collect and organize all documents. Usually, when one is wrongfully terminated, they are in such a state of shock that they forget to collect information, such as email messages. The most common documents needed when seeking an attorney’s assistance for wrongful termination include:
    1. The employment contract: an employment contract is a document signed by both the employer and employee prior to the employee’s job that outlines specific duties and pay.
    2. Employee handbook: all companies have an employee handbook, which they are required to distribute to employees. With every update, the company needs to notify their employees of changes. The handbook may state the steps taken for an employee’s termination.
    3. Employee file: an employee file is kept of every employee in the company. An employee file may also state reasons for termination. If no reasons are indicated in the file, chances are higher in having a wrongful termination claim. However, if the employee file states valid reasons such as “being late to work,” you may not have a strong wrongful termination claim.
  2. Consult an experienced wrongful termination employment attorney. Our recommendation is to consult an attorney that is located in the same county as where your employer is. Oftentimes, each county and state have different wrongful termination rules and regulations.
    1. Many attorneys may charge a flat fee for a consultation. We offer free consultations to determine your case, and remedies you can obtain. For more information, visit our page
  3. Speak to other employees you worked with: other co workers may give you some insight as to what the reasons for your termination might have been, or any pattern of discriminatory behavior the employer is engaging in. Further, if you witnessed any pattern of behavior by your employer, contact your co workers to get the names of any witnesses.

Filing a Complaint

Other than seeking a consultation from an attorney, there are other ways to report the wrongful termination misconduct, such as through administrative authorites of your state. Below are steps discussing filing a form in California, for more information on how to file the form in your state, please contact us.

  1. File the California intake form. California has a website under the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) where employees could fill out an intake form and describe their termination. You can visit the site and view the form You must include reasons why you believe you were wrongfully terminated.
  2. An investigator under the DFEH will be assigned to your claim. The investigator will reach out to you once the claim has been received to seek any more information. It usually takes about two months from them to process the initial form.
  3. Provide copies of the employee handwork, employee contract, and other relevant forms to the investigator.
  4. The investigator will then create a complaint form and send to your employer. Your employer will have to respond within 30 days.
  5. If you are unsatisfied with the employer’s response, the investigator may set up a mediation meeting.
  6. If there have been no changes and you are not satisfied with your employers’ response, you may then file a lawsuit.

Filing a Lawsuit

If you first tried to report your employer to the DFEH, but the response was not to your satisfaction, you can request a “right to sue” notice from your investigator. This provides you with the means to go to court rather than to mediate under the DFEH. After getting the “right to sue” notice, you can consult an attorney.

Filing a Complaint with EEOC

After filing a lawsuit, the next step would be to file a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Commission. Filing a complaint with the EEOC is needed to file a lawsuit in federal court. The EEOC will conduct an investigation into the claim. However, they will not be able to determine the suitable remedy for the wrongful termination.

Statute of Limitations in Wrongful Termination

Statute of limitations are a set of rules that determine when you can file the lawsuit, and when the time has expired for filing the suit. The average time of statute of limitations for wrongful termination in the United States is around 180 days or 6 months. During this time, you have to file the suit, or you do not have the ability to once that time has passed. The statute of limitations for state courts ranges from state to state.

If you believe you or a loved one have been wrongfully terminated by your employer, contact our wrongful termination attorneys at Heidari Law Group. Our attorneys will help you navigate through the wrongful termination lawsuit, and determine the different ways in which you could be compensated. We have offices in major cities in Nevada and California to be able to better assist you. Our wrongful termination attorneys will work to make sure you receive fair and maximum compensation for your injuries. Contact us for a free consultation today.

***Disclaimer: This blog is created by Heidari Law Group for educational purposes. This article provides a general understanding of the law. It does not provide specific advice. By using this site and reading through this blog, there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and any member of Heidari Law. Further, due the constant change of the law, some parts of the information above may no longer be good law.